Author Archives: William Black

The Kurds, The Most Frequently Betrayed Group, Experience Trump’s Betrayal

William K. Black
October 9, 2019     Kansas City, MO

The most betrayed people in the world are likely the Kurds.  They have the misfortune to live in a particularly violent region dispersed among five nation states – Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria, and Armenia.  They are a large ethnic group (the fourth largest in their region).  They are overwhelmingly Sunni.  Kurds have tried to be a nation, and the West betrayed them.  Kurds have tried to develop ‘home rule’ within the nation states they inhabit, and everyone betrayed them.  The majority population of each of the nation states they inhabit tends to despise Kurds as non-Arabs or fake Turks.  Turkey pretends they do not exist and calls them “mountain Turks.”

Continue reading

Eric Holder is the Official Missing from Discussions of the Bidens’ Ukrainian Efforts

By William K. Black
October 7, 2019     Kansas City, MO

Michelle Goldberg published an excellent column on September 30, 2019 “Trump’s Claims About Biden Aren’t ‘Unsupported.’  They’re Lies.”  It accurately describes Trump’s lies and his unlawful and unethical acts of trying to use the power of our government to induce Ukrainian and Chinese officials to smear his political opponents.  The House should cite those Trump lies as part of the basis for impeaching him.

Rule No. 1:  No Freebies

I am not a politician or political tactician.  A campaign for the presidency (nomination or ‘general’) is above my pay grade.  Nevertheless, I know Rule No. 1 – Never give your political opponents freebies to use against you.  That was my rule during the savings and loan debacle when we blew the whistle on the Speaker of the House, the five Senators who became known as the “Keating Five,” the White House, Vice President Bush’s office, and the head of our own agency for his cowardice in surrendering to the political extortion.  Our goal was to end our leaders’ corrupt and cowardly surrender to Charles Keating, the nation’s most corrupt banker.  We know that Keating hired private detectives at least twice to investigate me.

Continue reading

The Terrible Cost of Politically Induced Hate of Minorities

By William K. Black
September 23, 2019      Kansas City, MO

Muslims and Jews in America and Israel share some common experiences.  In Israel and the territories Israel occupies, they are the targets of murderous hate from each other.  They have competing, horrid stories of mistreatment by other ethnic and religious communities and each other that go back over a thousand years.

In the United States, the relationship between Muslims and Jews is vastly better, but mixed.  The American hate killers of Jews and Muslims are overwhelmingly right-wing supremacists who hate Jews, Muslims, people of color, and the ‘left.’  So far, the nightmare scenario of waves of revenge pogroms by American Jews and Muslims has not occurred.  We all need to work to prevent that nightmare from ever occurring.

Continue reading

Trumps Asks the Right Question, Provides the Wrong Answer

By William K. Black
September 23, 2019     Kansas City, MO

Since the Trump administration began, I have been making a series of predictions that any white-collar criminologist would find obvious.  I discuss three of those points in this article.  First, Trump is leading the most corrupt administration in our nation’s history.  Second, over time, only the sleaziest, most cowardly, and least competent mid and senior level officials would remain in power.  Third, Trump exemplifies the “Dark Triad” – the toxic mix of psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism.  People beset by the Dark Triad personality characteristics are serial liars.  Each of the three predictions has proven true, but any competent, honest white-collar criminologist would have made the same predictions, so I take no pride in their proven accuracy.

Continue reading

Democrats Should Refuse to Continue to Support Stupidity and Cowardice

William K. Black
September 15, 2019      Kansas City, MO

A craven group of Democrats is furious with Beto O’Rourke for calling for the mandatory sale of assault rifles to the United States.  Reuters’ headline says it all:  “O’Rourke’s ‘hell yes’ vow to take away rifles worries U.S. lawmakers pushing for gun limits.”  Seriously?  Democratic lawmakers (who have adopted no meaningful federal law in response to tens of thousands of gun deaths and maiming) are upset because a prominent Democrat proposed a law to get military-style assault rifles out of civilian life.  Granted, the Republicans have patented their right to be the party of stupid, but Democrats should not compete by becoming the party of less stupid, but equally cowardly.

Continue reading

Rigged System Apologists and Deniers Fear Senators Warren and Sanders

William K. Black

August 26, 2019     Kansas City, MO

Greg Weiner has written an article aimed at those he hates – progressive Democrats.  He entitled it “The Shallow Cynicism of ‘Everything is Rigged.’” Weiner wrote, in the midst of the most corrupt administration in U.S. history, not to attack President Trump, but instead to attack Senators Warren and Sanders.  Their sin?  They oppose corruption.  Worse, they view corruption as immoral, they ‘walk the walk’ by refusing to take contributions from corporations, and they are proving remarkably skilled at explaining to the public how the corrupt rig specific systems.  Democrats are reacting by giving strong support to Warren and Sanders.  Weiner argues that some corruption is good and that we need far more of it.

Continue reading

Tom Friedman Just Noticed that the UK “Has Gone Mad” (Part 2)

By William K. Black
April 11, 2019     Bloomington, MN

Part 7b of the MMT Series
Part 7a is available here.

Blair, Brexit, and Friedman Show the Need for MMT Insights

Part One: The MMT Critique of Orthodox Microfoundations

Orthodox ‘modern macro’ is based on ‘microfoundations’ that implicitly assume that firms profit-maximize, that there are no negative externalities, that there is no market power, and that there is no control fraud or predation. In sum, they assume out of existence reality and particularly the parts of reality that produce the “endemic” global financial crises that Friedman admits his favored model produce. (See Parts 2A and 2B of this MMT Series for a much more detailed discussion of microfoundations.)

Friedman, of course, loved both Blair and Brown. In the same April 22, 2005 column, Friedman described Brown as Blair’s “deft finance minister.” (Perhaps he meant to write ‘daft.’) In 2005, the UK was racing toward the GFC. It nosed Wall Street at the wire to ‘win’ the regulatory ‘race to the bottom’ that produced the epidemics of control fraud and predation in the U.S. and the UK that hyper-inflated bubbles and drove the GFC. The UK economy was sick in 2005. It was systematically misallocating capital. It was driven not by real industrial productivity gains, but by accounting scams in the City of London. The ethics of the City of London had fallen to sewer levels. Its biggest banks had been specializing in predating on their customers for two decades. Its most prestigious bankers were driving the two largest price-rigging cartels (Libor and Forex) in world history. Even the sleaziest U.S. bankers at the ‘vampire squid’ (Goldman Sachs) based their worst, most rapacious predators in the City of London. On any real economic basis, many of the UK’s largest banks were insolvent because of their terrible asset quality.

Continue reading

Tom Friedman Just Noticed that the UK “Has Gone Mad” (Part 1)

By William K. Black
April 11, 2019     Bloomington, MN

Part 7a of the MMT Series

Tom Friedman’s April 2, 2019 column concluded “The United Kingdom Has Gone Mad.” To which, the only possible response is – ‘you just noticed?’ The UK went ‘mad’ 22 years ago when Parliament elected the odious Tony Blair Prime Minister. I think many Tory policies were mad long before that date, but the Labour Party opposed them. The entire UK did not go ‘mad’ until Blair created “New Labour” and adopted Tory policies and became PM in 1997. Blair explicitly modeled the name and the adoption of neoliberal economic and military policies on Bill Clinton and the “New Democrats.” The UK became ‘mad’ when both of its major parties adopted the neoliberal economic and military policies that Friedman celebrates and proselytizes. I am dividing this article into two subparts for reasons of length. This part deals with the general madness. The next part (7b) explains its relevance to Modern Monetary Theory (MMT).

Friedman’s April 2, 2019 column was about Brexit, which understandably sticks in the craw of the populist spreader of the myth that the world is becoming ‘flat’ and a ‘hyper-meritocracy.’ The wealthy rig the world to make it tilt sharply. Plutocrats tilt it to ensure that a huge and increasing share of the world’s wealth flows to them. Friedman is the most infamous shill for those plutocrats. The plutocrats tilt and warp the economy unevenly to favor not simply the wealthy, but a favored subset that is typically the opposite of a meritocracy (kakistocracy). Worse, the world tilts toward catastrophe because the ultra-wealthy kakistocracy’s political pawns have produced environments so criminogenic that they produce our recurrent, intensifying financial crises. Friedman is shocked that one of the two epicenters of the global kakistocracy and plutocracy – the City of London – has forced the UK to follow policies so self-destructive and rapacious that vast swaths of the UK rose in opposition by voting for Brexit. The City of London, of course, hates Brexit.

Continue reading

MMT Scholars’ Predictive and Policy Successes – Part A

Number 2A in the MMT Series

By William K. Black
March 31, 2019     Bloomington, MN

Introduction

The second article in this series deals with Modern Monetary Theory’s (MMT) predictive and policy successes.  The article has three, separately published, parts.  Part 2A deals explains why predictive ability and policy success are so critical – and notes that MMT’s critics have been conspicuously unable to provide a record of predictive failure by MMT scholars.

Part 2B deals with MMT successes in microeconomics.  The MMT work on microeconomics constitutes a powerful refutation of the ‘microfoundations’ of ‘modern macroeconomics.’  The key characteristics that the MMT theorists have demonstrated dramatically superior predictive ability, particularly in the most important microfoundation issues of the last 70 years.  In the microfoundations context, MMT scholars have also demonstrated exceptional policy success.

Continue reading

Wolfers Blames MMT for Orthodox Economists’ Ignorance of MMT

By William K. Black
March 14, 2019     Bloomington, MN

Number 6 in a Series of Articles on MMT

Justin Wolfers is an economist who is disgracing the university I love, the University of Michigan.  I had the great fortune to be born in Detroit and receive the first seven years of my higher education as an instate student at the University of Michigan.  I was able to graduate with virtually no debt.  Wolfers is also a native of Australia, which means he is familiar with kangaroos.  That familiarity is ironic because Wolfers is devoting his time these days to serving as the chief apologist for a kangaroo court of orthodox economists that convened to declare Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) anathema.

Kangaroo courts are sham legal proceedings which are set-up in order to give the impression of a fair legal process. In fact, they offer no impartial justice as the verdict, invariably to the detriment of the accused, is decided in advance.

The orthodox economists’ kangaroo court met that definition.  Here is what happened – and there is no factual dispute about it.  MMT opponents ignorant of MMT scholarship drafted two strawman questions.  (They were actually the same question, with unimportant changes in phraseology.)  The willingness of people who never read MMT scholarship to be fervent opponents of MMT demonstrates the severity of the scandal.  The kangaroo ‘poll’ drafters falsely claimed that MMT scholars would answer “yes” to both questions.  Indeed, the deliberate implication was that a “yes” answer to both questions defined MMT’s core precepts.  MMT scholars have repeatedly and unequivocally made clear for decades that the answer to both questions is “no.”  MMT scholars have repeatedly and unequivocally over the last nine years explained to Paul Krugman, the falsity of his recurrent ascription of the same strawman used by the orthodox economists’ kangaroo court to MMT scholars.  As I have demonstrated in prior articles in this series, Brad DeLong has documented Krugman’s repeated falsehoods, the repeated statements of MMT scholars refuting Krugman’s strawman claims, and the clear statements by MMT scholars as to what they actually believe, write, and teach.

Continue reading